California Job Outlook: Healthcare Workers In Huge Demand! By Dotty

Temperature is right for Healthcare Opportunities
A healthcare career might be just the cure for your occupational woes. Whether it?s working with patients, being a key contributor in a medical office team, or opening up your own business, healthcare is a satisfying, challenging and exciting career choice. And there?s never been a better time to train for a healthcare position. With the aging of the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), a shift from inpatient to outpatient care, and the expansion of healthcare centers, the demand for healthcare workers is expected to increase in the years to come, especially in California.

Below are the fastest growing Healthcare Careers in California:
*Dental Assisting*
Average Annual Wage: $31,985
2002-2012 Job Growth: 57%
Future Career Paths: Dental Hygienist, Licensed Vocational Nurse

*Health Claims Examiner/Medical Biller*
Average Annual Wage: $31,772
2002-2012 Job Growth: 41%
Future Career Paths: Medical Coder, Insurance Adjuster
*Massage Therapy*
Average Annual Wage: $36,340
2002-2012 Job Growth: 21%
Future Career Paths: Physical Therapist, Day Spa Manager

*Medical Assistant*
Average Annual Wage: $28,890
2002-2012 Job Growth: 46%
Future Career Paths: Licensed Vocational Nurse, Medical Coder

*Optical Dispensing*
Average Annual Wage: $32,441
2002-2012 Job Growth: 23%
Future Career Paths: Store Owner, Manufacturers Sales Rep

*Pharmacy Technician*
Average Annual Wage: $33,632
2002-2012 Job Growth: 31%
Future Career Paths: Occupational Therapy Assistant, Dietetic Technician

*Surgical Technology*
Average Annual Wage: $40,178
2002-2012 Job Growth: 36%
Future Career Paths: Central Supply Mgr, Asst. Operating Room Admin.

*Diagnostic Medical Sonagraphy*
Average Annual Wage: $60,908
2002-2012 Job Growth: 21%
Future Career Paths: Physician?s Assistant, Medical Technologist

** Salaries listed above are average annual wages reported by the Employment Development Department of the State of California and do not reflect entry level salaries for the healthcare positions listed.

Key Success Factors
Do you have a genuine desire to help people? Then chances are you?ll be successful as a healthcare professional. The four other critical skills you?ll need to succeed in health care are:

? Team player. Healthcare is a group activity, so people skills and teamwork are essential.
? Compassionate and caring. Helping take care of people requires patience and a service-orientated attitude.
? Comfortable in any setting. You might be part of a huge organization or a small staff, working at the local, state, regional or national level. The possibilities are endless.
? Desire for lifelong learning. You?ll need to keep studying and learning throughout your career to keep up with the latest developments in the field.

Healthcare provides a helping hand
Healthcare professionals are essential when it comes to caring for the physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing of individuals. Whether you?re a health information specialist or a dental receptionist, all support staff play a vital role in patient care. As an important contributor to the healthcare system, you?ll need to be able to establish trust and credibility with fellow workers and patients. Good communication skills, ability to follow directions, and strong listening ability are important, especially if you?re working in a clinical environment.

Technical abilities are a must
Technology has altered the practice of healthcare. No matter what the healthcare field, an ability to work with computers and high-tech equipment is a powerful asset. As a medical biller, you will probably be asked to help process some claims electronically. Medical clinical assistants may need to deal with an Electronic Medical Record. Pharmacy technicians often operate automated pill dispensers. But if you?re unfamiliar with such tools, don?t worry?your all-important career college will help introduce you to these concepts.

Exciting environments
Is it any wonder that shows like NBC?s ?ER? and ?Scrubs,? and CBS? ?Rescue 911,? have been so popular? They show the drama of medicine and the reality of life-and-death situations. Healthcare is filled with stimulating and interesting interactions. Of course, big-city hospitals bustle with activity, but even a quiet suburban assisted living facility, chiropractic office, retail pharmacy, HMO, or medical clinic have everyday drama and fascinating daily interactions. If you like a variety of tasks, work well under stress, and take pride in doing a job well done, then you have what it takes to be a valuable member of the healthcare team.

Lifelong learning
Medical-related workplaces have always been settings that support and encourage professional growth and development. Opportunities for on-the-job training and continuing education abound, and often employers will subsidize your schooling. You?ll also have lots of opportunities for advancement, so your ambition will serve you well in a healthcare profession. If you?re interested in a career like massage therapy, be assured that complementary and alternative medicines are being integrated into conventional healthcare systems, offering you even greater opportunities. No matter what your area of interest, be sure you start out at a school that provides a positive learning environment and is prepared to help you launch your career in this exciting arena.

Reality check
Although not every healthcare professional works with patients, those who do will find that people are sicker, older, and living longer, often with chronic diseases. Keeping a positive attitude is key for maintaining a cheerful office or clinic. Are you up to the challenge? Being a paid caregiver requires confidence, commitment and compassion.

The clock never stops ticking in the healthcare profession. Perhaps it?s time for you to join this financially rewarding, stable and gratifying occupation. One recent study showed that California led other states in the number of advertised healthcare job vacancies, with other regions also showing a strong demand across the nation.
One healthcare worker said it best: ?Touching someone?s life in a positive way is the most rewarding work that there is.?

To request free information about the healthcare career training programs offered in southern California, visit .
To request free information about the healthcare career training programs offered in northern California?s San Joaquin Valley, visit .

About American Career College For over 25 years, American Career College (ACC) has been helping thousands of students get their start in the healthcare industry. ACC offers nine healthcare training programs at campuses in Los Angeles, Orange County and Norco, California:
Dental Assisting
Health Claims Examiner/Medical Biller
Massage Therapy
Optical Dispensing
Vocational Nursing
Pharmacy Technician
Surgical Technology
Diagnostic & Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)
Medical Assistant

About A.C.I. Career College At its McHenry Avenue campus in Modesto, CA, the College offers six accredited healthcare training programs:
Health Information Specialist
Medical Clinical Assistant
Medical-Dental Administrative Assistant
Pharmacy Technician
Massage Therapist
Medical Dental Receptionist

Dotty Zukoff is a freelance writer who specializes in writing articles on career education opportunities. She contributes regularly to e-zines and works with strategic marketing companies that specialize in lead generation marketing for career schools, including Smart Prospector () and Effective Student Marketing ().